E. Oregon man accused of killing 78-year-old woman

BEND, Ore. — A Pendleton man has been jailed in the killing of a 78-year-old woman who bred horses near Sisters.

Deschutes County authorities say 30-year-old Joshua Leo Jokinen called them Saturday evening to report he might have killed a woman, and the body of Carolyn Burdick was found shortly afterward.

Sheriff Larry Blanton would not describe the cause of death or a motive, and it was unclear whether Burdick and Jokinen knew each other. The sheriff called it a “strange, senseless act.”

Jokinen was to be arraigned Tuesday on a murder charge. It could not immediately be determined who represents him.

Jokinen was living in Madras in Central Oregon when he was convicted of assault in 2006 and sentenced to six years in prison, KTVZ-TV reported (http://bit.ly/1326zEw). Police said Jokinen struck a man several times with a trailer hitch ball in an unprovoked attack.

Sheryl Webb told the Bulletin of Bend (http://bit.ly/17C7VWo) that she has a 10-year-old son with Jokinen, and he has visited the boy since he was released from prison.

She said Jokinen had struggled with drugs. The Bulletin reported that before Jokinen went to prison, he had been convicted of possessing methamphetamine, as well as theft and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Webb said Jokinen was from Sweet Home and lived in Jefferson County most of his life, but most recently was residing and attending school in Pendleton.

The killing occurred in a rural area a few miles east of Sisters where horse farms are common.

Neighbors described Burdick as a former longtime schoolteacher who had lived in Albany. They said she was a churchgoer who bred Arabian horses and had chickens, dogs and two parrots.

“She wouldn’t hurt anybody,” said Vernie Merritt, who lives nearby. “… You wouldn’t want a nicer person for a neighbor.”

More in Local News

Mill Creek councilman no longer lives in city, panel finds

The Canvassing Board determined Sean Kelly is not eligible to vote there.

A Democrat and ex-Republican team up to end two-party politics

Brian Baird and Chris Vance unveil a new organization called Washington Independents.

The beavers weren’t happy, either, about Mill Creek flooding

A tree fell on their dam, sending a rush of water into a neighborhood near Jackson High School.

Two windsurfers rescued from Port Susan near Kayak Point

The men had failed to return to shore during Sunday’s windstorm.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Stranger offered candy to student walking home from school

The Granite Falls School District is warning families about… Continue reading

Coming together as family

Special-needs students and teachers at the Transition Center cooked up a Thanksgiving feast.

Lynnwood’s property tax promise to homeowners sort of true

They were told consolidation of fire departments would save, but new rates likely will be more.

Woman who died in 5-car crash identified

A car driven by Susan E. Sill rear-ended another vehicle Wednesday on Smokey Point Boulevard.

Most Read